Crochet Hooks

Ah, crocheting.  This is, I think, my newest hobby.  When I was but a babe, one of my great aunts taught me how to make a chain with a yarn and my finger.  She promised to teach me more the next time she saw me (so I could practice making a chain), but (unfortunately) I don't think I ever saw her again.  Years later, while visiting us in Germany, another of my great-aunts introduced me to knitting.   I later tried re-teaching myself both crafts.  I had more success with knitting than crocheting, though I now don't know why crocheting was such a difficult concept.  Perhaps it was because knitting only involved casting on and two types of stitches for the beginner.  Anyway, when I was nineteen, I asked a friend to teach me to crochet.  I had great difficulty grasping the technique and never quite "got" the concept of turning my work.  So, I left crocheting alone for another 20 years.

I decided to try my hand at crocheting again when our churches prayer shawl ministry announced that they would be giving lessons on how to crochet at their October meeting this year.  I thought, "What have a I got to lose?"  I could give it a shot and if I still couldn't grasp it, I would at least be able to enjoy the company of several or my friends and even more ladies I didn't know very well yet.  Plus, the shawl ministry doesn't just do crocheted stuff.  Some people knit and they also make those tied felt blankets every so often.  I knew I could cut and tie a knot.  I attended the October meeting and sat next to a very sweet lady who is in the choir with us.  In that brief period of time (less than 2 hours) she had not only taught me how to turn, she had shown me how to do a single, double, half double and triple stitch.  She also showed me how to make a very cute hair piece using a stretchy pony tail holder as it's base.  She also taught me how to read a pattern.  I tell you, that woman can work miracles!  Sue, I love you and thank you for introducing me to a new passion.  A couple of days later I had completed my first crocheted pony tail holder and had picked my first large project, a crocheted purse.  I know, crazy first project.  Wouldn't a scarf or small blanket have been easier? Well, I have never been known to do things the easy way.  Besides, the project was listed as a beginner project.

I had a rough time getting my gauge right.  Finally, I took my pattern, my supplies and my gauge swatches (in all, I had done 6 of them) to our next fellowship dinner and asked another lady (Jenny, the one who was officially teaching the crochet class) from the ministry to help me figure it out.  I could either get the gauge for the rows right, with the stitches too short or too long or the stitches right with the number of rows being off.  Finally we decided that gauge didn't matter, I could modify the pattern as needed when I made the gusset to make sure it was long enough and just make sure the two sides were the same width and height.  One weekend later, I had my purse.  It turned out much bigger than I expected.  So much so that I cannot use it as a purse because if I filled it up (and trust me, it would happen) it would be heavier than I am supposed to carry with my back problems.  So, I use it to hold my supplies for my smaller crochet projects so that I can take them with me when I need to be out but have a lot of spare time to fill while out.

Presently I am working on my very first prayer shawl.  I have hit some bumps in the road, but (thankfully) our ministry has a group on facebook where we can post updates and requests for help and input between meetings.  I will post pictures and updates for this project soon.  We had one of our missionaries visiting from the Philippines for a while and she was able to join us at our November meeting and help make the felt blankets.  The last Wednesday night service she was able to attend before returning home, she announced that as part of her ministry, she was handing out Flowers of Blessings that she had crocheted.  She hands these out to men and women alike.  It is a flat disk flower and can easily be held in your pocket or purse.  She tells people that when they are troubled, weary, or angry to give the flower a squeeze and say a prayer.  She tells them that when they give a squeeze, they can be reminded that she is praying for them.  She also tells them to give the flowers a squeeze and say a prayer of thanksgiving (even when troubled) because thanking God will always bless your heart.  She handed these flowers out after services to anyone that wanted one.  She likes to use the variegated yarn so that men will enjoy them too.  Unfortunately, she cannot get variegated yarn in the Philippines so she also makes them from a variety of beautiful colors.  I picked a pink one (my two favorite colors are hot pink and pool blue) and passed her a note to ask her for the pattern.  She made the pattern up herself so I knew the only way I could have it would be to get it from her.  My hope (and that of the prayer shawl ministry since I was able to share it with them as well) is to make a flower for each shawl I crochet in the same colors as the shawl.  I plan to include a note to explain the meaning behind the flower to go with the gifts when they are sent out.  Thank you, NaNay Julie.  You have blessed us in so many ways and now your ministry can continue even beyond your ability to reach physically.

What are you working on?  Please feel free to comment on your projects, ask for help, provide advice or let us know about your favorite haunts for this particular craft.

No comments: